Harlesden rapper Nines admits drug dealing and money laundering

Church Road rapper Nines.

Church Road rapper Nines. - Credit: PA

Harlesden rapper Nines admitted charges of importing drugs and money laundering at Harrow Crown Court this week. 

The musician, real name Courtney Freckleton, 31, faces time behind bars after admitting a plot to import 28kg of cannabis from Spain and Poland.

In court on Thursday, Freckleton and Jason Thompson, 35, pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to import the Class B drug cannabis into the UK from Poland and Spain and conspiracy to transfer criminal cash between March 10 and July 3 last year.

In 2020, Nines topped the UK album chart with his third studio release Crabs In A Bucket

The plot involved one successful importation and a second attempted one, with the total amount of cannabis said to be 28kg, the court heard.

Prosecutor Genevieve Reed said the money laundering charge related to a £98,000 debt as well as the value of the drugs.

Freckleton and Thompson both denied two further counts of conspiracy to supply cocaine and conspiracy to supply cannabis and Ms Reed said prosecutors will not be seeking a trial on the charges.

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The men were arrested in June after police raids across London and Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, in an operation understood to have stemmed from the infiltration of encrypted messaging service Encrochat.

The network, which was used by thousands of criminals internationally, was brought down by law enforcement last year after being hacked by French investigators.

Freckleton, of Barbican, central London, and Thompson, of Barnet, north London, are facing lengthy jail sentences and were remanded in custody by Judge Rosa Dean, who adjourned the case for sentencing.

The rapper is originally from Harlesden and was named best hip hop act at last year’s Mobo Awards.

His chart-topping third album, which beat metal titans Metallica to the top spot on its release, secured album of the year, seeing off competition from Stormzy, J Hus, Lianne La Havas and Mahalia.